This year, I will celebrate 16 years of marriage with my husband, Kevin.
Kevin and I were not together as a couple very long before we started a family. We had 4 kids within 5 years, and it was a whirlwind of diapers, naps and playdates. When I watch home videos now, I can feel the exhaustion in my bones.
As our kids grow older, and become more self sufficient, our focus isn’t always on them anymore. There is more time and space to dedicate to each other… but what should we do???
I often wonder if we have much in common outside of our 4 children. In many ways, Kevin and I are opposites.
- I’m active, he’s more of a homebody.
- I like the creative arts, he’s a true techie.
- I embrace my spiritual path & growth, he doesn’t give his much mind.
- I like playing quick games, he likes intense board games.
- I’m silly and he’s more serious.
I used to get frustrated about how we didn’t DO anything together. All we did was sit and watch tv at the end of the day, but that wasn’t DOING something.
But for him, it was. He didn’t care where we were, or what we were doing. He was happy to just BE with me.
I was the one who needed to change. I needed to change my perspective. I needed to change my expectations. Instead of focusing on what I thought we were lacking, I needed to be grateful for what we already have.
Bottom line is this; We are two different people who have different interests, and that’s okay. We love each other, trust each other, and have mutual adoration for each other. Marriage takes time and effort, and that’s a good thing.
Here are some ways that Kevin and I focus on our marriage:
- When we watch tv together, we hold hands. So even if we aren’t actively “doing” something, we are still connected.
- We schedule date nights. Sometimes this happens once a month, other times several months pass before we go out. The important thing is to remember that we were a couple before we were parents.
- We actively search for activities to do together. I love learning, and I think personal development should be at the top of everyone’s list. Why not find new things to experience together? We’ve already taken a pottery class and a flatbread cooking class. (If you have other suggestions, please send them my way.)
- We schedule “Let’s Talk” times into our calendar. We meet 4 nights a week to discuss any topic that one of us brings to the table. We also meet 1 night a week with our 4 kids to talk about anything from the pursuit of artificial intelligence, to current events in the news. Connection is important in relationships, and we are committed to fostering the connection between the 2 of us, and with our kids.
- We communicate. When we start to drift apart and become absorbed in our own interests, one of us will communicate to the other that it’s time to come back to one another. Most likely, we need to go back to tip #2.
- We allot open time in our schedules to be home with one another. Between work events, kid activities and personal interests, our calendars can fill up quickly. We make sure not to over schedule ourselves with too many nights away from home.
All in all, I am so blessed to create this life with Kevin. From our opposite natures, he has helped me grow in areas I was lacking and he helps me see the world through a different perspective. So you see, being opposites has also been a really great thing.
Lulu & Kevin